Questions tagged [ethics]

On making a decision based on morals or common ethical codes instead of etiquette, rules, institutional or government policy, or technical or procedural reasons.

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Is it ethical for a referee to recommend rejection after many months from receiving the manuscript?

I am an early-career researcher in mathematics. In general, after submitting a paper to a journal, it is advised to wait six months before requesting information about the status of the review process....
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40 votes
5 answers
5k views

What are the ethics of reviewing a paper, spotting issues, not raising them in the review, and then trying to publish a paper on the issues?

I had a paper that went through a long peer-review process (~1 year). One of the reviews seemed to obviously be from a specific individual who strongly disagreed with the paper because it critiques ...
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  • 503
-1 votes
1 answer
152 views

Shall I collaborate/email with a peer who've been taking contribution from others' working paper without properly citing?

There is a peer researcher working closely to my main topic. I recently got some results built upon his latest papers. However, I knew that he paraphrased a (small) section of someone else's work into ...
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

When submitting a paper to a journal, what is considered an original figure?

It is often the case that you want to make a similar point compared to what you made in previous papers, but in a different context. But you can't use the same figure that you used in a previous paper ...
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2 answers
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What to do about a dubious competing publication in the same journal I'm submitting to?

Before submitting my predictions paper, I spotted a paper with alternative methods for the same predictions. It appeared two weeks ago online-first in the same journal I'm submitting to. Digging into ...
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-4 votes
3 answers
206 views

Is it possible to ethically use an undergraduate for publishing my research as a PhD student in the following context?

Suppose I am a Ph.D. student in machine learning and have an idea about developing a model that I presume to be more efficient than existing models. Although I have a broad idea of coding to some ...
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8 votes
4 answers
5k views

I have written one mathematical paper which I want to publish, do I need to give professor co-authorship?

I am an undergrad student studying in the last year of my bachelor’s. I have written one paper in number theory discovering one new elementary method. I want to publish it. For mentorship I went to my ...
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-5 votes
0 answers
52 views

PhD advisor ghosting me to escape unethical behavior sabotaging postdoc applications [duplicate]

I've graduated 7 months ago (I did my PhD in a Lab in Europe as an international student) and since then I am looking for a postdoc. I managed to get two prestigious opportunities in the US before my ...
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0 votes
2 answers
355 views

PhD advisor bullies me because I refused to give him total ownership over my research and help him copy it before it's public

I developed an innovative method about which I wrote an article (not published yet) and a complete open-source library implementing it. The field is Applied Mathematics. I showed the finished work to ...
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64 votes
8 answers
11k views

What good is my paper if the code is not open source?

I have been working with my research group on a number of papers in a certain area of Computer Science. These papers have a certain portion which is theoretical (i.e. contains theorems, formalisms, ...
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37 votes
5 answers
7k views

Is it unethical for nursing school assignments to require students private medical information?

The curriculum for the nursing program at my university regularly requires the student to write a detailed account of their HIPAA-protected medical information. The assignments usually require posting ...
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15 votes
4 answers
4k views

How can you handle your professor not doing his job (as a postdoc)?

For the past two years, I have been working as a postdoc under a new German professor with what I consider to be an atrocious work ethic: His presence on campus is limited only to when in-person ...
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1 vote
1 answer
164 views

Authorship order changed after resubmitting to another journal?

The work is a collaboration between my home university and another research group. We first submitted the work to a pretty good journal where I was the second author. But the publisher recommended we ...
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32 votes
9 answers
7k views

Lecturer Copied Textbook Questions for Open Book Exam - I Used the Answers

Yesterday, before my exam, I went through as many practice questions as possible, and incorporated anything I missed into my notes - this included cases not taught in the textbook or lectures. I am a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
183 views

Is it okay to say that I have a paper under review when applying/talking to potential supervisors?

As I am applying/talking to potential supervisors is it appropriate to mention (but not elaborate) that I have a paper under review at a specific conference? Or would this be a potential breach of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
180 views

How can I ask the professor if I could still work with them on the proposal?

I received two Ph.D. offers this year. The offer from A came too late, which was later than the deadline for the decision of offer from B. Thus, I decided to take the offer from B. Although I have ...
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1 answer
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Working in a research company that studies the same research problem as my startup [closed]

I am almost in the final step of joining a big research company. This company has a huge amount of data for research problem X, and their research team is always digging into it. I just want to ...
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34 votes
5 answers
8k views

What are the ethics involved in teaching my chair's child in my undergrad class?

I'm a faculty member, and my department chair's son is enrolled in a course I'm teaching. Actually, this happened twice during the past academic year and is slated to happen again this fall. I'm ...
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2 votes
1 answer
178 views

When Criticism gets personal? [closed]

I would like to know when critics start to be personal? There are lots of these "Don't take it too much personally" stories, but what is the other side? Of course, constructive criticism is ...
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47 votes
12 answers
14k views

PhD student pressured to fabricate data due to bad experiment design

Summary: It took me 3 years to analyze data from one sample (n=1) whereas correct way to perform experiment would be with n>=3. Now my job and funding are in question, since I don't have more time. ...
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18 votes
4 answers
6k views

Did my professor act unethically by publishing a paper with a figure from my thesis without any acknowledgement?

Title says it all, but for specifics.. Just found out my thesis advisor published a paper last year using a figure from my thesis. The thesis is in embargo until later this year. I do have be honest ...
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1 vote
1 answer
158 views

Is it ethical for lecturers to give marks based on another criteria other than the one they prescribed?

Is it ethical for a lecturer to give all students in their class full marks for a module when they have not assessed the quality of the assessments? In one class, students were told they would be ...
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14 votes
6 answers
8k views

Is it ethical to privately thank authors when you discover they’ve cited your work?

Is it ethical to privately thank authors when you discover they’ve cited your work? Can it be looked upon like you’re trying to gain future favour? Or like the citation itself was for any reason other ...
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4 votes
1 answer
208 views

Submitting two articles to the same journal at the same time similar ideas but different surgeries?

I am part of two different labs that are studying very similar things. One is the impact of smoking on elbow or shoulder replacement, and the other is the impact of smoking on wrist replacement. They ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
946 views

A jerk is becoming a professor, should I alert their faculty?

During the early stage of my research career many years ago, as a graduate student, I met this young and bright but yet very manipulative PhD student. Let's call the person A. At the beginning A was ...
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26 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is it ethical to ask to see a letter of recommendation if the recommender is dead?

My former PI (and role model and one of the most incredible people I know) wrote me a letter of recommendation for a scholarship before she passed away. I know her secretary was the one who submitted ...
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27 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is it plagiarism if someone attends your talk and then writes a paper about your ideas?

6 months ago I presented a talk describing some research I had been doing and presenting some half finished results. Ive since discovered that one of the attendees took my idea from the talk and ...
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  • 271
23 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to protect ourselves from predatory reviewers?

When authors submit paper to a journal, the paper will go through the peer review process. When a reviewer accepts to review a paper, the reviewer is then given the power to delay the publication of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
177 views

It there a non-academic job that reviews conference or journal submissions?

I am a research student at the moment, but it has occurred to me that it could potentially be profitable to be a "pre-reviewer". I will explain what I mean. A pre-reviewer is not an academic ...
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10 votes
7 answers
4k views

Is authorship justified for performing an experiment 7 years ago, which is published? We just used samples from that experiment for a new analysis

7 years ago, a mouse experiment was performed, and samples are still available for further analysis. This mouse experiment is already published with a certain readout. Now, we publish a whole ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
169 views

If previously submitted and marked paper is plagiarised by others, is it collusion? [closed]

Assuming a student wrote a paper on their own and submitted it to turnitin. AFTER they graduated, if their paper is accessed (with consent) by an undergraduate student who is studying a same course ...
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1 vote
0 answers
149 views

Problems with my boss in academia: who to ask for some advice in Austria?

I have some problems with my boss at a university. The problem does not only include cooperative aspects. It also involves some problems related to a post-doc project that I developed and that I gave ...
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1 vote
0 answers
115 views

Improving ethics in Theoretical Physics - looking for an association [closed]

I am a postdoc doing Theoretical Physics in Europe, and I would like to know what a person at this stage in his/her career can do to actively promote ethical standards in its community. Precisely, is ...
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38 votes
18 answers
8k views

Is it ethical to assign problem sets and not tell students which subset of problems will be graded?

It is common practice to have a homework strategy as follows: a professor might assign N homework problems but only have some random sub-set of those problems graded. This is motivated by a large ...
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3 votes
3 answers
253 views

Is it ethical to be dropped as a sub-awardee / co-PI after helping to write a grant proposal?

I co-wrote a proposal with two faculty members who mentored me during my PhD. Since I am now a non-tenure track Assistant Professor at a different institution than the other two, I was to be given a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
251 views

Lab mate and supervisor got ideas from my experimental results, tweaked it and submitted to a journal without giving me credit. What do I do?

I am an undergraduate senior studying computer science and engineering continuing to work in deep learning and Artificial Intelligence. I had been working on some datasets from June 2021. My ...
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2 votes
2 answers
498 views

Accidentally burned bridges with PhD advisors

Late last year, I had accepted a research fellowship/startup position tied to a PhD position. The advisers were extremely supportive and I got my visa and was ready to move abroad. However, after ...
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34 votes
5 answers
8k views

Is it ethical to deny someone co-authorship who had not had the chance to contribute to the text itself?

Since I am a fairly new researcher in the process of building a track record for myself I'd like feedback on whether I behaved correctly in the following situation. I was part of a small, short-term ...
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2 votes
1 answer
308 views

I passed my PhD with no corrections but feel I don't deserve it [duplicate]

I had a wonderful experience on my PhD study which was an AHRC funded PhD at an elite university in the UK. I loved my topic and the whole world of academia. I was extremely ambitious and threw myself ...
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11 votes
2 answers
358 views

Writing a case report about my own medical problems without treating physician

I am a postdoc in epidemiology. Last year I had a very rare viral infectious disease that got me admitted to the hospital for more than a week, and it is worth a case report because it's a fairly ...
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19 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is it ethical to cite the complete version of a paper in the short version of it?

I've written an article which is 32 pages long, (including 1.5 page of references and 3 pages of appendices). I intend to submit it to a conference which accepts 20-page long articles including ...
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1 vote
0 answers
27 views

Using anonymized student grades in a publication? [duplicate]

Can I use anonymized student grades for a study that could later be published? The idea would be, for instance, to investigate if a group of students taught by Method A had a different grade ...
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0 votes
2 answers
137 views

My MSc advisor assigned me an idea that was already done but, I found new insights, should he be included as a co-author?

My MSc advisor gave me an idea that was already done and was not expecting me to add anything new but I found new insights, he was not convinced, he never helped or gave me motivation but, I continued ...
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4 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it unethical to submit a research paper to a second journal when the original journal appears to be ignoring it?

I submitted my work to journal X almost a year ago; the status of the paper remained "Assigned to Reviewers" for a long time, and despite repeated emails, no one from the editorial board ...
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8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Should I include as author of my current paper someone who wrote code that I'm using?

I'm being asked (by my advisors) to include a person I don't even know as author of my new papers, in which they haven't done anything. The reason seems to be that my work is based on source code that ...
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5 votes
3 answers
448 views

Behavior of a postdoc supervisor changed after I had a campus visit for a faculty position

I'm currently doing my third postdoc at an Ivy league university. My supervisor is very famous in his area of research and he was very supportive for me during the first year. However, he waited until ...
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1 vote
1 answer
178 views

For LORs being drafted by the recommendee, do the contents need to be different?

I'm applying to a 24 week workshop (or short school), and I have two former attendees who are willing to write LORs for me. They are either nominated in the front page of the website, or still ...
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5 votes
2 answers
318 views

Appropriate to call editor of journal where my name was removed as author?

Unfortunately, I recently discovered that my name was removed from a published piece which I contributed substantially to (it is available online). I have already asked my co-authors, and all of them ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
223 views

Ethics of staying at my a pre-doctoral research fellowship

I accepted a pre-doctoral fellowship at University A with the expectation I will pursue a PhD there. After 3 months into the fellowship, I realized that the program doesn't exactly spark my interest ...
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44 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is it ethical to get some help from Stack Exchange for my research as a PhD student?

As a PhD student, I am expected to do research on my own, possibly assisted by my supervisor or colleagues. Like any researcher, I sometimes spend days looking for a small piece of information, ...
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